Depleted Rangers shrug off early setback to record impressive vicory
Herbert hat trick as Thame enjoy day by the Thames
With five regulars missing it was a reshuffled line-up that recovered from conceding an early goal to earn a well deserved cup win on the immaculate astro surface at the National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey.
Having played on some very dubious pitches recently the Thame boys appeared to enjoy conditions that encouraged passing football.They started brightly and only a fine save from the home keeper prevented Billy Herbert opening the scoring in the opening minutes but it was to be Marlow who took an early lead with their first attack of the game.
The strategy was familiar and led to an almost identical goal at Thame earlier this season, a high ball floated over the Rangers back line for a speedy striker to run onto fire past Eddie Hart.
Thame refused to be thrown by the setback and continued dominating possession and creating chances,most of which fell to Herbert. In the 18th minute the Rangers striker hit an equaliser that had looked inevitable before shooting his team into a 2-1 interval lead after a key contribution from Jack Thurnham.
Marlow,as ever fought to make this a competetive match .Matt Gomm had saved a goal clearing off his line in the first half and Eddie Hart made a spectacular save early in the second period when a second Royals goal might have changed the course of the game.
As long as Thame continued to miss their opportunities the home side were still in the game and Herbert,George Bennetts and Jack Thurnham all failed to beat Royals keeper before a determined run from Alex McStay presented Billy Herbert with the opening to complete his hat-trick and effectively settle the outcome.
There was still icing to apply to this footballing cake with a sweetly taken free kick by full back Ed Hickman which beat the wall and found the net from outside the area completing a very satisfactory morning.
Credit to all 13 who contributed with congratulations to Billy Herbert on his second hat-trick of the season and special mentions to Tom Howard and Jack Thurnham who switched positions to cover for absent teammates and to Matt Gomm on his best performance of the season.
Squad:Eddie Hart,Matt Gomm, Tom Howard (capt) Tom Darling, Ed Hickman, Jack Thurnham,George Bennetts, Alex McStay, Niall Davies, Billy Herbert, Ollie Gibson and Matt Wigglesworth.